The Astrid, which takes groups of aspiring sailors on training voyages around the world, lost power in its engine, leaving the crew helpless to save it from being tossed onto the rocky shoreline. Lifeboats scrambled from across County Cork and arrived within 30 minutes to help rescue the 23 teenagers and seven crew.
Two Irish Coast Guard helicopters were also deployed to the scene in response to the mayday call.
The Astrid was one of 50 vessels taking part in a flotilla-style five-mile journey from Oysterhaven to Kinsale as part of Ireland’s 2013 Gathering initiative.
As it started to sink around 12pm, the crew assembled on deck to await rescue.
Eighteen of the crew were rescued and taken back to Kinsale harbour in another vessel taking part in the event – the Spirit of Oysterhaven, with the remainder being ferried to land in a lifeboat.
RNLI crews reported that some of those rescued were in a very shocked state.
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